Local ballplayers, college freshmen earn All-State accolades

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As area ballplayers turn their attention to the 2015-16 school year and spring sports season, two local student-athletes were recently named to the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association All-State Team.

Danny Wilson and Clark Cota represented Topsail High School among the 18 players selected from 3A programs within the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. The two college freshmen turned in a pair of memorable careers in Hampstead as state champions in 2014. They also helped steer the Pirates to a 25-win season during their senior campaigns and a Mideastern Conference Championship in the split 3A/4A division.

Clark Cota. Photo courtesy- Colin Rice
Clark Cota. Photo courtesy- Colin Rice

Wilson, who will play college ball next spring at UNC-Asheville, hit .397 as the team’s lead-off hitter. In 78 at-bats last season, the standout third baseman had four doubles, three triples and five home runs. He also finished with 20 runs batted in and 34 runs scored.

Cota is in the midst of rehab after he underwent collateral ligament reconstruction, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. After visiting the renowned Dr. James Andrews for the procedure following the conclusion of his senior year, the right-handed fireballer is working back to full strength under the direction of Coach Mark Scalf at UNCW.

Serving as a designated hitter for the latter part of the season, Cota hit a team-high .447, with six doubles and nine roundtrippers to go along with 31 RBIs and 26 runs.

Receiving an honorable mention to the 3A All-State Team was Topsail shortstop Jake Madole. Madole will join his classmate in Wilson at UNC-Asheville this fall after batting .425. He smacked seven doubles and launched two home runs as a senior.